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Educators to build NZ-Singapore classroom connections

Educators to build classroom connections between New Zealand and Singapore

New Zealand teachers will build connections with Singaporean counterparts and improve their understanding of the wider Asia region on an Asia New Zealand Foundation study tour.

The Singapore Cultural Connections Trip is a professional learning programme that helps New Zealand teachers improve their understanding of Singapore, develop cultural knowledge and awareness, and build sustainable online connections with Singaporean schools.

The New Zealand teachers head to Singapore this weekend [August 7], where they will visit schools and be partnered with local teachers, gaining first-hand understanding of the Singaporean education system. They will also attend a range of briefings, including from the New Zealand High Commission, and participate in a conference to plan ways for students in both countries to communicate online on a regular basis.

Asia New Zealand Foundation director of education Jeff Johnstone says the teachers have already started communicating with each other using WhatsApp, one of the most popular social media platforms in Southeast Asia. “They’re looking forward to meeting each other and finding ways to collaborate on a long-term basis. Online school partnerships are a fantastic way to build intercultural understanding among children and teachers in New Zealand and Asia.

“The teachers will have the opportunity to learn about the diversity of Singapore and its Malay, South Asian, and East Asian cultural influences. Overall, these trips give educators a new perspective on the importance of Asia to New Zealand and help them meet the needs of their students in the 21st Century.”

The participating teachers are:

• Tamara Bell, Cobham Intermediate, Christchurch

• Blake Carlin, Tauranga Intermediate, Bay of Plenty

• Natalie Coffer, Sunnyhills Primary, Auckland

• Marsha Copping, Goodwood School, Cambridge

• Debbie Currie, Matamata Intermediate, Waikato

• Michael Harrop, Silverdale Normal School, Hamilton

• Rachelle Moors, Carisbrook School, Dunedin

• Kasey Poole, Matangi School, Hamilton

• Nathan Russell, Fergusson Intermediate, Upper Hutt

• Nicola Stevenson, Worser Bay School, Wellington

• Grant Stuart, Marian Catholic School, Hamilton

• Myles Webb, Auroa Primary, Hawera

Singapore-based New Zealand teacher Craig Kemp, who is a middle school technology and innovation specialist at Stamford American School and is well known for his work in education through social media, will be helping the Asia New Zealand Foundation with the programme.

The Singapore Cultural Connections Trip is one of several professional development opportunities offered by the Asia New Zealand Foundation to school leaders, to help build Asia-equipped schools in New Zealand.

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